Monday morning, October 24, 2011 it was announced, President Barrack Obama, current president of the United States of America, would be visiting the Auraria Campus in Denver, Colorado where I attend school. It was also announced that tickets would be made available for free to all students and faculty to hear him speak. Needless to say, when I heard of the opportunity to hear the President speak LIVE and unedited, I simply could not pass it up. It would require that I miss an exam to hear him speak, but I was prepared to convince my professor that I was not a slacker but I simply could not pass up such a rare chance to hear a seated president speak. Luckily for me, my professor showed up to class prepared to move our exam so we could take advantage of the exceptionality of the event.
So Tuesday morning, I stood in a long line, suffering the cold and frigid wind as it circled the Tivoli building on campus, just to get the “golden ticket” to gain access to the Event Center where the President would be speaking. The line wrapped around the building, stretched out towards the bus depot and folded back. Students and faculty from all three schools that share the Auraria Campus bolstered each other and formed camaraderies as we waited. It became obvious that the political passions of those waiting in line ran the spectrum from blind support to extreme disbelief. However, the one thing that was common was everyone was excited to actually hear a President speak. None in my area had ever heard a seated President speak. Regardless of political beliefs, we all felt it was our right, and our responsibility, to take the opportunity to hear with our own ears what would be said, without the filter of the talking heads. It was great to be included in such an enlightened circle. As we all collected our tickets, we bid farewell and wished each other luck in getting in to the speech.
Wednesday morning, I met my sister and headed off to campus with an unusual excitement. We were going to hear the President speak. First I would go to class and hopefully afterwards, I’d still get in. My sister would stand in line and save my space. My class was noticeably empty as I assume many of my classmates decided they wanted to hear the President, too. During class several students simply got up and walked out early. I completed the class and literally RAN across campus, in freezing wind and BLOWING, heavy, wet snow that threatened to break my ankles, drag me into the muck and freeze my eyeballs, to find the end of the line. Just as I reached the end, I received my sister’s text message saying she was getting close to the front. Once again, I RAN across campus to find the front of the line and got to her just in time to enter the warmth of the Event Center.
We passed through security with no fanfare, and took up our place far back from stage right on the floor. The atmosphere was festive. The opening band played energetic songs to keep the excited crowd entertained. At one point a charge went through the crowd as a man we assumed was President Obama, peeked out from the curtains in the observation deck. The Man was in the House! Shortly afterwards, the National Anthem was sung, a graduating student came out to introduce him, and he walked on stage to a warm and respectful reception.
For the many who waited in the freezing wind and snow yet still could not get in, and for the many who were unable to get away to gain a “golden ticket,” I recorded the speech. There are other voices from within the crowd as people near me responded to his words, but he can be heard clearly. So with no further adieu, I give to you an unedited recording of the speech.
Ladies and Gentleman, it is with great pleasure, I give to you The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!!!!